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Lessons for Emerging European Constitutionalism from the United States Constitution: Trigger Rules

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  • McGinnis John O.

    (Yeshiva University)

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    Abstract

    This essay offers some lessons from the history of the United States Constitution for constitutions for emerging democracies in Eastern Europe. The United States Constitution declined in efficacy over time because special interests eroded its restraints on rent-seeking. This essay seeks to consider solutions to prevent constitutional decline. It suggests that since special interests will try to dissolve constitutional restraints, the original constitution should itself contain trigger rulers imposing new restraints when certain events occur that suggest the old restraints are weakening. Thus in this essay I suggest creating constitutional provisions to spring into effect when the consequences of constitutional decline become apparent in the polity.Cet article met en avant quelques leçons puisées dans l’histoire de la constitution américaine pour les constitutions des démocraties naissantes de l’Europe Orientale. La constitution des Etats-Unis a perdu de son efficacité au fil du temps parce que les intérêts particuliers ont entamé les contraintes qui pesaient sur les activités de recherche de rente. Cet article essaye d’envisager des solutions pour contrecarrer le déclin constitutionnel. Il suggère que, puisque les intérêts particuliers essayent de dissoudre les contraintes constitutionnelles, la constitution devrait inclure, à l’origine même, des règles d’activation imposant de nouvelles contraintes quand certains évènements qui surviennent révèlent l’insuffisance des contraintes antérieures. Ainsi, dans cet article, l’auteur suggère la création de dispositions constitutionnelles qui sont activées quand les conséquences du déclin constitutionnel sont apparentes au niveau politique.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 1-20

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:11:y:2001:i:1:n:3

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